You and the Law – 22nd December 2009

Is my pension safe?

I was divorced last year but we still haven’t reached a financial settlement. Will my ex-wife be entitled to a share of the company pension I’ve been drawing for the last five years?  Will the fact that she’s living with a new partner affect her entitlement from the family finances?  SC

Your pension will be added to the total matrimonial assets to be divided up, but if there’s plenty to go round it may not be necessary to touch it.

The fact that your ex-wife is living with someone else is unlikely to greatly affect what she’s entitled to, but it means you may not have to pay her maintenance.  See a solicitor to work out a settlement.

Long absence

I’ve been off work for 10 months with arthritis.  My doctor, a consultant and the company doctor all agree that I’m unable to do my job.

But now I’ve received a letter saying the firm is transferring me to another company under the TUPE regulations, and I’ve had a letter from the new firm welcoming me. 

Can you be transferred when you’re too ill to do the job?  LW

If all the doctors agree that you’re unfit for work then the next letter you’re likely to receive is one terminating your employment.

However, your illness would probably be classed as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act, so your employer will be under a duty to try to find a job for you that you’re capable of doing.
It’s possible the firm that is taking over may have more opportunities for you in this respect, so if you think this might be the case you would probably be advised to sit tight for the time being.

The letters you have received are no doubt standard ones which don’t take into account your special circumstances.

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